The United Tables of Art

The United Tables of Art

united tables of art

The best-followed rules in my classroom have been the ones that the kids develop themselves.  Last year, I had a group of 7th-grade students who were spending more time disagreeing on their table responsibilities than getting their work done.  Rather than imposing a teacher solution, I just said: “I’m giving you ten minutes to figure out how to work together and share responsibilities equally.”  Those words triggered the humorous, student-generated, and effective  . . . “The United Tables of Art”.

The Constitution for the United Tables of Art

We the people, in order to form a more perfect art union, combine these tables and form the United tables of Art. A government made for the people.

10 Basic Laws and Ideas

  1. John is Judicial.
  2. Albert is executive.
  3. Nate and Blake are Legislative, Nate is House of Rep., Blake is Senate.
  4. All controversy is to be voted on.
  5. Treason is punishable.
  6. Treaties with others must be signed.
  7. Bill of Rights will be followed.
  8. All possible treaties will be taken care of.
  9. Military will be led by Nate, Blake, Albert.
  10. Freedom to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

The Founding Fathers,  x________

I thought it was so smart that they figured this out.  I love the equal powers of government described within the document.  They also finished out the year working together better than they had all semester.  I will even say this was a cross-curricular learning experience.  If only I had planned it that way!

We can learn a lot from our students – empower them to find their own solutions to their problems.

How do you set up your classroom rules?

Three Fun Ways to Animate in Photoshop

Three Fun Ways to Animate in Photoshop

3 fun ways to animate in Photoshop

In my 7th and 8th grade Digital Media classes, I incorporate animation into our Photoshop experience. In the tutorials below, frame animation, video overlay, and rotoscope techniques are demonstrated.  Once the students experiment with each technique, they choose one method as a focus to create a finished composition.

Frame Animation

student work

Video Overlay

Student work


Student work

Student work

Check out this rotoscope version of a "Twenty-One Pilots" music video below. It was a great inspiration for my students!

These are also great techniques for you to use when demonstrating art concepts. What other techniques have you seen to teach animation?

We’re Gettin’ the Blog Back Together!

We’re Gettin’ the Blog Back Together!

We're Back image

We are so glad to be back!

You may have noticed The Teaching Palette has been quiet lately.  Well, here’s the scoop: someone hacked into our site and hid corrupting code that would periodically take the blog offline.  So, after spending way too much time unsuccessfully searching for bad code, we finally decided to start from scratch and reinvent the blog with a new look and fresh ideas.


We’re excited to bring great lessons and teaching strategies to The Teaching Palette this year.  We will be reposting some of our most popular content and adding in new ideas we’ve been eager to share.  Make sure you don’t miss any new posts and subscribe to email alerts.

-Hillary and Theresa